Skip to main content

The art of the pandemic: New York's museums to reopen as others remain closed

Once a major epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the Big Apple is slowly coming to life again. After months under lockdown, several museums are getting ready to reopen to the public, albeit a socially distanced, face-covered one. 

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) reopens Thursday, while The Metropolitan Museum of Art reopens its Upper East Side location on Saturday. The American Museum of Natural History plans to reopen Sept. 9, followed by the 9/11 Memorial Museum on Sept. 11 and the Guggenheim on Oct. 3.

"There are a lot of unknowns out there. We don't know whether people will feel comfortable coming back. We don't know whether they'll feel comfortable being with several hundred people indoors, even if we're a very large space,"  Glenn Lowry, MoMA's director, told the Associated Press (AP).

THE LATEST ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC 

THE MENTAL HEALTH COST OF CONTAINING THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK

FOR THOSE WITH AUTISM AND INVISIBLE DISABILITIES, THE SOCIAL ISOLATION OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS NOTHING NEW

AMERICANS ARE NOW 'DESPERATELY REACHING FOR HOPE'

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC IS THREATENING THE MENTAL HEALTH OF LATINX COMMUNITIES

ARE YOU RELIEVED TO BE IN ISOLATION DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC? YOU'RE NOT THE ONLY ONE

In Washington, D.C., where most of the Smithsonian museums remain closed, the National Zoo and Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum have already reopened to the public with limited, timed-entry passes and preventative measures, including required face coverings. 

But that doesn't mean the other institutions are completely dormant. The National Museum of African American History and Culture has actively been collecting artifacts from recent events and protests, while others, including the National Portrait Gallery, have focused their efforts on virtual outreach and programming. 

"The world is our oyster," Kim Sajet, director of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, said in an interview with The Hill's editor-at-large Steve Clemons for the Coronavirus Report.

The Smithsonian, like many other museums, has lost millions of dollars in revenue from gift shops and restaurants, among other things, Lonnie Bunch, the Secretary of the Smithsonian, told Federal News Network.

Our country is in a historic fight. Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

"No one wants to lead during a pandemic," Bunch, who was elected secretary of the Smithsonian in May 2019, told FNN. "In many ways, this has been a horrible crisis. In other ways, it's been an opportunity to really move the Smithsonian forward in its goal to be a more nimble, 21st-century institution. Would I have liked to have an easier time? Absolutely. But as we used to say in my neighborhood, you deal the cards that are dealt you."

In New York, Regan Grusy, vice president of strategic partnerships at the New Museum, told the AP that museums are also facing increased costs during the coronavirus pandemic, hiring more staff and investing in touchless bathrooms and costly air filtration systems

"Every institution is having to look long and hard at their financial model and scale back, postponing and canceling programs and events while simultaneously pushing forward on all fundraising cylinders," Grusy told the AP. 

Some museums are getting creative, selling face masks with their logos and artwork on them. But the MoMA is not charging visitors at all for the first month after it reopens. 

"It just felt like the right gesture," Lowry told AP. "I think once you've lost a lot of money, losing a little bit more isn't really the big issue."

READ MORE FROM CHANGING AMERICA

BOOKS ON RACE AND DISCRIMINATION IN AMERICA BECOME BESTSELLERS

MICHELLE OBAMA OPENS UP LIKE NEVER BEFORE IN NEW NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY

FROM PRISON TO YALE LAW, ONE POET'S JOURNEY OF INSPIRATION

NEW BARBIE SET FEATURES A BLACK WOMAN AS A POLITICAL CANDIDATE

FOUR-YEAR-OLD POET LANDS A BOOK DEAL AFTER HIS WORK WENT VIRAL

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

History of Art Timeline

The historical past of art is usually told as a chronology of masterpieces created during each civilization. It can thus be framed as a narrative of high culture, epitomized by the Wonders of the World. On any other hand, vernacular art expressions can even be integrated into art historic narratives, called folk arts or craft. The more intently that an art historian engages with these latter sorts of low culture, the much more likely it is that they will determine their work as analyzing visual culture or cloth culture, or as contributing to fields associated with art historical past, akin to anthropology or archaeology. In the latter cases, art gadgets may be called archeological artifacts. Surviving art from this era comprises small carvings in stone or bone and cave painting. The first traces of human-made gadgets appeared in southern Africa, the Western Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe Adriatic Sea, Siberia Baikal Lake, India, and Australia. These first traces are general…

How to Show Art Work when the Gallery Says No Thanks

There are places in the town where you live where you can show your artwork when the big gallery you solicited said, "No, thanks."
Other artists may need to find venues other than galleries to show their artworks as well. Visual artists living in art-rich communities where there is a lot of local competition will need to get creative about display opportunities.

Or on the other hand, in towns without large art venues, it is important for artists to find smaller and less obvious places to show your art.

How to Show Art Work When The Gallery Says No Thanks

1. Show Where You Go

The most successful approach to finding a place in your town to display your artwork is to solicit a place that you go to frequently. Make a list of all the places you go to each day, each week, and each month.

Make a special trip, or the next time you visit note if the establishment currently exhibits any artwork, if it is local, and if it is for sale.

Also note if they have available wall space where a…

‘The Painter and the Thief’ Review: The Art of Healing (and Vice Versa)

The Painter and the Thief, Benjamin Ree's documentary on a curious friendship, starts with a crime. The Czech artist Barbora Kysilkova is exhibiting her work in an Oslo gallery — she's recently moved to Norway to live with her husband — when two paintings are stolen. They are worth roughly 20,000 euros together; one of them, "Swan Song," is considered to be her masterpiece. Surveillance footage captures a duo entering the building through a back door and exiting with two rolled-up canvases. The culprits are later identified and caught. During a hearing, Kysilkova approaches one of the accused. His name is Karl Bertil-Nordland. Why did you pick those two particular paintings to steal, she inquires. "Because they were beautiful," he replies.Ree has said that he had come across the case when he was researching the high rate of art theft in his the Scandinavian country, and had originally envisioned doing a short piece on the what, where and why of it all. Inst…